Monday, May 29, 2017

Refute what I said using primary materials and not 3rd and 4th hand hooey from the Darwin industry and the vacuous echos of the same from the web.  That's how a big boy does it. I'll have more to say on this tomorrow. 

Aaron Copland: Symphony No. 3

Minnesota Orchestra
Eiji Oue, conductor

Written at the end of the Second World War, including the best setting he ever gave his famous Fanfare For The Common Man.  If you can listen to the third and last movement without tears, I don't know how you can be alive.

Last Post of Memorial Day

The logical conclusion of the claims of such economists as Fridman, Bloom and Easley (as well as many others) that their economics advocacy is out of assumptions of natural selection inevitably gives their results the character of maximizing what they claim as "economic efficiency" as having the same goal as claimed by such scientists as Karl Pearson and such others as Wilhelm Schallmayer, of maximizing "human efficiency" through the mechanism of their understanding of natural selection "the selective death rate".   That can only mean eliminating groups of people from the future through preventing them from leaving children and grand children. 

Anyone who claims their economic proposals are Darwinian, are based on natural selection are, in fact, linking their claims and proposals and goals to a eugenic view of human society and life. 

Anyone who denies that all of those must, in any scheme that comes out of their understanding of natural selection - defined in their own terms - must include the planned or not prevented early deaths of people even on a "selective" scheme are either misrepresenting the real intellectual basis of their schemes or they are conveniently leaving out those features of them.  

I don't see how anyone who can read can avoid that conclusion and anyone who can think would not see that such ideas are entirely at odds with and destructive of egalitarian democracy, morality and a decent life.

The Goal Was The Same It Was All A Question Of Which Deathrate You Liked And Your Patience In Achieving It

If you had done what you should have, looked at the links, you would have found the post in which I quoted one of the most eminent and most orthodox of Darwinists of them all, the geneticist trained by Francis Galton,  Darwin's close colleague, whose eugenics he cited and praised to the skies,  Karl Pearson and with a link confirming what I quoted from.  His definition of natural selection says the same thing that Darwin said it was,  "survival of the fittest".  Of course, for there to be survivors, it is necessary that there be dead people, the ones who didn't survive.  Karl Pearson, eminent scientist defined natural selection in terms that couldn't more obviously confirm my conclusions in this morning's post

"In the first lectur I laid stress on the great importance of Natural Selection – the selective deathrate – as tending to human efficiency,"

I will note that the goal of Pearson and all eugenicists is entirely in line with the theory of natural selection, to eliminate descendants of those selected through assignment of inferiority to them.  In the case of Darwin and Galton who thought birth control was icky, they favored it happening through a violent struggle for existence.  "Moderate" Darwinists, eugenicists, favored doing so, not through, necessarily, outright murder but through either forced or coerced sterilization of those, putting off their elimination for one generation so as to avoid getting called murderers.  If the Nazis had sterilized all of the Jews instead of gassing them they would have not had a different goal or different means than the eugenicists advocated and, in fact, still advocate.  They took a more purely Darwinian course of violence.  That's the only difference.

Eugenics was a British Fabian article of faith and at many a Fabian gathering, even before the founding of the Nazi party that great wit and man of letters, George Bernard Shaw was among the several Fabians and other progressive intellectuals and scientists advocating the immediate gassing of those he deemed unfit.  You can find the same things being said in the United States and elsewhere. Reading that great hero of the secular, non-Marxist left, Sidney Webb's comments about the Irish and Jews in that same post -  his pamphlet where he said it also linked to - and the Chinese I wonder if anyone pointed out to Shaw that the Irish could be put on a hit list as easily as any other group desired.  The Nazis chose one of Webb's chosen menaces for theirs.  Though eventually eugenic thinking will always be able to identify ever newer groups of the inferior to eliminate to ever improve the human stock.  If you get rid of "the lowest 10%" the next higher 10% moves into the position of "the lowest".  Such is the amoral logic of such scientific valuation and grading of people and whatever set they choose to consider people as being part of.

If you want to see what such thinking can produce in real reality instead of Darwinian fantasy of ever greater selective fitness, look at the number of inbred physical problems and deformities selectively bred into show dogs, horses, etc. and that's even with the cruel and repulsive practice of killing those deemed unfit by their commercial breeders.   Look at the British royal family over the generations.

Hate Mail Update:  Geesh, do you think they didn't mean it when they said things like that AS RELIABLE SCIENTIFIC FACT?  When Darwin and Huxley and others talked, explicitly about the "struggle for existence" and said such things as:

At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes, as Professor Schaaffhausen has remarked (18. 'Anthropological Review,' April 1867, p. 236.), will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla.


Die Faster Poor People Has Been A Theme Of Western Intellectual Life, The Law And Politics Since Darwin

Evolutionary arguments are often used to justify the fundamental behavioral postulates of competive equilibrium. Economists such as Milton Friedman have argued that natural selection favors profit maximizing firms over firms engaging in other behaviors. Consequently, producer efficiency, and therefore Pareto efficiency, are justified on evolutionary grounds. We examine these claims in an evolutionary general equilibrium model. If the economic environment were held constant, profitable firms would grow and unprofitable firms would shrink. In the general equilibrium model, prices change as factor demands and output supply evolves. Without capital markets, when firms can grow only through retained earnings, our model verifies Friedman's claim that natural selection favors profit maximization.

Optimality and Natural Selection in Markets:  Lawrence Blume, David Easley The Santa Fe Institute

The Santa Fe institute is a think tank which isn't, so far as I've ever read, supposed to be right-wing ideologically, it was founded by a group of eminent scientists, very heavy on the non-life sciences and its membership reeks of academic distinction.  Its present president and one of its distinguished scholars is David Krakauer who is described at the institute website beginning

David’s research focuses on the evolutionary history of information processing mechanisms in biology and culture. This includes genetic, neural, linguistic and cultural mechanisms.

He is a graduate of the University of London from which he has degrees in biology and computer science and he received his PhD in Evolutionary Theory from Oxford.

Milton Friedman, mentioned in the passage from the paper issued by the Santa Fe Institute, is most famous as the intellectual guru* of American conservative economics of the type which has become the ruling dogma and guiding force behind all of Republican and virtually all journalistic thinking on economics and also that of a number of moderate Democrats.  His kind of thinking has had a huge influence on the law, through judges and Supreme Court justices who have a long history of either explicitly or implicitly supporting their rulings and decisions on that thinking which is, as the authors of the article state, founded on Darwinism, natural selection.

Darwin's defenders on the left and in science will, I am sure, claim that their citation is flawed, that natural selection is a biological theory of how species arise, some of them will claim - in complete contradiction to the claims of Darwinists since Darwin, himself  - that it has nothing to do with such matters as allowing a for-profit health insurance industry to maximize profit by leaving sick people with merely one option aside from dying sooner without treatment, the option to bankrupt their families trying to stay alive and very possibly dying a little later as you, then, can't afford either health insurance or to pay for treatment.  But that is only possible if you totally ignore the origins and the history of natural selection as a theory which was founded on economic theory, that of Thomas Malthus which was all about letting the poor die, encouraging them to die sooner than later.

I have pointed out that that most unlikely icon of American liberals, Oliver Wendell Holmes based more than his infamous legalization of eugenics, the Buck vs. Bell decision on his cold-blooded attachment to Darwin's theory of natural selection, his long list of rulings blocking government regulation of big business, industry, etc. is also, as Friedman's economics, based in his faith that natural selection is a physical law of nature to which all must bow.   His elucidation of free speech, the thing which makes him that liberal icon - despite the total depravity of much of his work in terms of liberal and even basic egalitarian morality - fits quite well into his Darwinist thinking.  And, as is the case in the law, what famous Supreme Court Justices decide and their thinking behind their decisions has lasting and potent force to damage and destroy as well as to give relief to those who are disadvantaged, taken advantage of and destroyed.  At least those fewer decisions did until the Darwinist strain came to dominate through Republican appointments on the court.

That, of course, is found in Darwin, as I suspect I will never have to stop pointing out, he, himself, in the fifth edition of On the Origin of Species, explicitly said that, despite post-war claims, when he uses the phrase "Natural Selection", he means exactly the same thing that the now infamous Herbert Spencer meant when he said "Survival of the Fittest" something his co-inventor of natural selection, Alfred Russell Wallace encouraged him to make explicit.

The claim almost always made that "survival of the fittest" is not something Darwin endorsed but is Spencer's "Social Darwinist" corruption of Darwinism is one of the biggest lies sold by the Darwin industry, a lie which is refuted by Darwin himself. 

And that understanding of natural selection is confirmed in his book dealing with his claims of natural selection in the human species, The Descent of Man, in which he claims that laws made by "civilised men" to feed, house, clothe the poor and destitute, to take care of the sick, to vaccinate people against small pox, even such measures as the gradual death camps, Victorian, Dickens era work houses, have a dangerous and generally dysgenic effect BECAUSE THEY KEEP POOR PEOPLE AND SICK PEOPLE ALIVE LONG ENOUGH FOR THEM TO HAVE CHILDREN. Those are themes which his closet followers and friends immediately began to claim based on the theory of natural selection, as I've pointed out before, Thomas Huxley published his enthusiasm for his conclusion that Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation would, in time, lead superior white people to exterminate black people because they had no economic utility as free people and so wouldn't be kept as beasts of burden.   Translations of that in language current to 2017 are in the mouths of racists, some of them in the Congress and White House and opponents of Black Lives Matter are all over the place these days.  I don't see any reason to not conclude that the actions of Dylan Roof and other followers of William L. Pierce wouldn't be explained by Thomas Huxley as, exactly, the naturally selective culling that he predicted. I will point out that Darwin, as well, predicted that the "favored races" would exterminate those he considered lesser.  That idea is as Darwinian as any.

That, one of the foremost claims of and for natural selection  is among the things which Darwin's critics pointed out after the publication of On the Origin of Species and before the writing of The Descent of Man, critics such as Frances Cobbe who Darwin condescendingly and dismissively addressed in The Decent of Man, even as he claimed exactly the kind of moral depravity as reliable scientific fact in large sections of that book.  His present day defenders will take the one or two escape clauses which Darwin provided himself as merely plausible deniability of the amoral and homicidal character of his claims even as he asserts the salubrious effects of the early deaths of large numbers of the poor (who he never seems to wonder might be merely victims of circumstance and not biology) the sick, entire races of people and the benefits of "civilised men" killing off those he deems "weaker".

As has been pointed out, Darwin claimed that his theory had its origin in his reading of the cold-blooded economic depravity of Thomas Malthus in which he advocated an even harsher treatment of the poor so as to harry them out of life before they swamped the rich in their numbers.  Harsher than the already terrible English law which, since the time of Elizabeth, had more or less illegalized poverty and put the most terrible restrictions on the poor who subsisted on a scanty living from Church charity.   In the age of early 19th century science, the British government obliged by making the New Poor Law more infamously harsh and cruel, instituting a slow and gradual death camp system of Work Houses in which the mandated food ration was smaller than that provided prisoners.  The records of deaths at poor houses frequently gives "starvation" as the cause of death to inmates who had been there long enough so that adequate food would have prevented such causes for death.

And, I will remind you, Darwin, himself, in Descent of Man,  a book published as science, listed the work houses as a dangerous hindrance to the workings of natural selection allowing the poor, the sick, and other "weaker member" of the human species to avoid dying soon enough.  I will point out to those of Darwin's defenders that he also included smallpox vaccinations -  the only vaccination available in his day, as another of dangerously dysgenic practices.  His son Leonard, following in his footsteps included opposition to universal vaccination in his unsuccessful campaign to become a member of  Parliament, one of many claims made by entirely conventional Darwinists that medical care kept too many poor and sick people alive.  One of the most eminent of them, the leftist, Karl Pearson, the student of Francis Galton,  wrote a pamphlet in which he tacitly condemns the use of cesarean section because it keeps too many mothers and their infants alive who would have died in child birth if left to nature.  Such talk abounds in late 19th century and, especially, early 20th century intellectual life up to and including the pre-WWI British and American advocacy for mass gassing of those deemed biologically and racially inferior.

Today's Republicans who are destroying the moderate and in some cases, merely adequate reforms of the Affordable Care Act to let the market decide how to rob the middle class, the poor, those with preexisting conditions are doing exactly what you would expect someone who believed in natural selection to favor, things which the most conventional, even eminent scientists who believe in natural selection have claimed needed to be done to either prevent the degradation of the human species or to produce a superior kind of human being. Their attacks on food stamps, on other programs of provision to the poor, the disabled, the sick, are absolutely Darwinian in character.  Those are things which Darwin attacked as dangerous to the human species, they are following Darwinism in exactly the same way that the economists agreed with in their paper linked to above. If you wonder how they could think as they do, how they could favor such cruel and inhumane and immoral policies, there are plenty of people from whom they could get those ideas.  Many of them are considered some of the foremost figures in modern culture.  It would be more puzzling as to how the things they claimed in their most respected publications couldn't have produced such thinking.

* I've pointed out before that his one idea which has worked instead of producing misery and chaos has been, in fact, the mechanism of withholding taxes which he helped developed when he worked as a government economist in the Roosevelt administration.  Before he decided his self-interest lay in promoting right-wing, good-news for those who could pay the best.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Carla Bley - Two Banana

Paolo Fresu: trumpet, flugelhorn
Andy Sheppard: soprano and tenor saxophones
Carla Bley: piano
Steve Swallow: bass
Billy Drummond: drums

A great piece by one of the greatest of living composers.

Update:  Root 

Is he really a troll or a fraud,
I must ask when the trolling's from Zod
And by that I imply
He may be simp-lie,
Another sock off Simp's clothes rod. 

4 minutes, folks, and that was while on store-brand benadryl.  

Update:  Well, I didn't know.  I thought that when you were getting heckled you were supposed to turn it around on them.   And you call me a cry baby. 

Update:  Better a line in doggerel short of a syllable than a mind short of a full deck, a full load or a top floor, one damaged by too much TV and crappy music, allergic to thought.  

I issued a disclaimer. 

 And  then there's the story about Winnie and the lady rebuking him for being drunk and disgusting, to whom he pointed out that unlike her he'd be sober in the morning. The story's apocryphal. it's said, but it still works in this case.   And I don't drink. 

Just Bob and Ray

Answer To Hate Mail Before I Take Memorial Day Off

I was going to not post anything at all to day because I think the posts of the last couple of days are important enough to not swamp them, and it's a holiday weekend here.  But several points.

A.  for reasons I've given and with the massive evidence of materialist-atheists claiming that material determinism makes free thought impossible, indeed, they make free will impossible* and in a more and more often read assertion that consciousness, itself is an illusion.

B. that for that demotion of human thought as a mere product of physical causation in the brain impeaches the reliability of human ideas, which, due to the monistic, totalistic claims of materialism must also be true of things the materialist-atheist wants to give an exemption to, such as the thinking that produces science, logic, reason, even in intellectual structures up to and including theories and ideologies, INEVITABLY IMPEACHING THE IDEAS AND THINKING THAT PRODUCES ATHEISM AND MATERIALISM.

C. that any assertion which inevitably includes the destruction or discrediting of its own foundational premises cannot be true.  Something which comes as a surprise to even allegedly educated people in the allegedly hard sciences.

I've come to the conclusion that materialism is the only idea I can think of which can only be true if it is false, that it can only be right if it is wrong.

The idea I've been dealing with the last few days, that, BY THE ASSERTIONS OF THE DARWINISTS, THEMSELVES,  Darwinism destroys the intellectual basis of egalitarian democracy, and produces the conclusion that some kind of aristocratic, oligarchic tyranny of the hereditary superior in intellect rightly rules over, not only the most intellectually disabled but, also the "average man" that Darwinian materialist causation also is an argument for fascism, in its various forms.  That fascism and Nazism arose when it did, as Darwinism was, in fact, the major new idea in the same cultures where it arose is no accident.  As I showed, the absolutely orthodox Darwinists, Galton, Haeckel, Schallemyer, etc. including Darwin, himself,  had made that same argument in various forms, the eugenicist - all of the not only orthodox Darwinists but true believers who were ready to put their new found scientific belief into practice, even if it meant violating the rights and the bodies of those they believed to be scientifically determined to be inferior.

In the post-war period, even as the results of that Darwinism were exposed as able to, as likely and inevitably producing the slaughter that Darwin, Haeckel and others asserted were guaranteed to come,  using their reasons for making that assertion, scientists still asserted that eugenics as a logical conclusion given an assumption that natural selection is real.  Such noted scientists as those in biology James Watson, Francis Crick, Ronald Fisher and others in the genine sciences such as the Nobel physicist William Shockley, myriad members of the quasi and, in fact, pseudo sciences such as Arthur Jensen, Richard Herrnstein, Carleton Coons**, ....  and who knows how many non-scientists who believe them have all made and still make exactly the same kinds of arguments which led to the slaughters of millions, legal discrimination and the unequal distribution of resources which are, in fact, making a huge comeback in the United States, today.   I have no confidence that the present members of the Supreme Court and, likely, those who will be in place four or five years from now aren't fully capable of overturning even the greatest landmarks such as Brown vs. Board citing such science to do it.  I have no doubt, at all, that the neo-segregationists, neo-confederates running the federal government wouldn't cite such science in allowing states to do the most depraved things, including forced sterilizations - which continued even after they were supposedly declared to be a violation of rights, here, in Canada and elsewhere.

This is something we'd better hash out right now because it's a matter that has been pending since the 1860s when intellectual critics of Darwinism came to the same conclusions about its materialistic, deterministic claims for human society, both for and against.  As I've noted the Victorian intellectual Frances Cobbe was one of the most insightful and informed of those early critics who knew the claims being made by Darwin and his inner circle better than most of today's champions and supporters of Darwin Day.  Most of them know nothing but that he's their team mascot. Unfortunately, the reason he is their mascot carries some seriously dangerous infection of proven deadliness.

*  I've just begun to consider the implications of that for the Darwinian characterization of intelligence as arising as an adaptive advantage under natural selection.  My early suspicion is that material determinism either damages that argument and attribution or it discredits it in the same muddle of random indeterminacy that it does choices made, in general but the idea just came to me a little while ago and I like to think things out, have arguments ready, before I commit to an idea.

** Such scientists and others, including such scientific racists as David Irving's one witness in his backfiring law suit,  Kevin Macdonald are cited by neo-Nazis, neo-fascists,  and in almost every instance their claims are based on natural selection.  His field, evolutionary psychology, Sociobiology, are entirely based on claims made, scenarios and stories invented out of little else than assertions that it must be that way due to natural selection and materialist determinism.  And, it should never be forgotten that until he became known in the wider world as producing scientific racism, making antisemetic claims in his science,he was a fully accepted and honored member of his scientific community within evolutionary psychology.   One of his supporters, John Hartung, produced an equally offensive piece of such science which was cited by the pope of evo-psy, Richard Dawkins in The God Delusion, without comment on its antisemitic character.

My parents were both veterans of the anti-fascist, anti-Nazi side in World War II. Both of them volunteered to defeat exactly the results of a belief in natural selection.   It would dishonor their sacrifice - my father was permanently and fully disabled in battle - to not post this.  It's certainly a better memorial than waving the flag and saying "thank you for your service".

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Saturday Night Radio Drama - Norman Corwin - The Undecided Molecule

After yesterday's mention of the sad declining years of Groucho Marx and as I was thinking of posting Corwin's famous On A Note of Triumph for Memorial Day, I thought of another of Corwin's masterworks of radio drama.   You'll get to hear Groucho in a verse drama.  He plays a judge - though I'd bet he got a lot more from the time he played one on screen, this is an entirely better role.   He joins an all star cast from back in the days when the biggest stars wanted to do radio drama, especially when written by writers like Norman Corwin, Arch Obeler etc. 

They include Robert Benchley, Vincent Price, Norman Lloyd (who I found out is the only one still with us, at 102, if the computer is right, today) Sylvia Sidney, Keenan Wynn.  I suspect Corwin also wrote their self-plugging credits at the end. 

I think you'll like this one a lot. 

Update:  I can't believe I didn't give a credit for Radio Drama Revival, where I found this.   Please, check them out. 

Hate Mail

Oh, Simps said that did he.  Well, I'm glad to disappoint him but as far as I'm concerned him wearing a hoodie is a good idea, especially if it obscures his entire face.  It can cover a multitude of chins.  Unfortunately, if he starts talking it will still be whatever comes out of his head.  Maybe if he included a muzzle in his summer ensemble..... 


Update:  Zod, if you remove the personal attacks on other people you might get that comment posted, I will not carry attacks made on other people.  Feel free to attack me all you want.  I'm right here and I don't have any problem with fighting with anyone.  I can whip your ass. 

As to your contention that this blog is dedicated to attacking Simps, I seldom if ever say anything about the dope without him starting it.  You seem to have missed those little, tiny posts I do on other subjects.  Squint hard and you can see them. 

Update again:  Just out of curiosity I checked the word count and other than this post I have posted, so far today, 3,177 words, more or less, on non-Simps topics in just posts.  Not to mention comments.  That is in contrast with 75 words on Simps, and a few more on you. 

Atheists can't count, that's all there is to it. 

Another Footnote As An Afterthought

When I originally posted about the founder of German eugenics, as an organized entity. Wilhelm Schallmeyer,  in the absence of English translations of his work I depended on a very interesting book by Sheila Weiss, Race Hygiene and National Efficiency: The Eugenics of Wilhelm Schallmayer, which, fortunately, is available online.

In writing about him the other day I remembered this passage from the third chapter of that book, it contains part of the same passage from Haeckel I posted this morning.

During the 1860s and 1870s Social Democratic leaders such  as Friedrich Albert Lange, August Bebel, and Karl Kautsky—to name only the most important—embraced Darwinism and viewed it both as a legitimation of the inevitability and desirability of socialism, and as a justification for materialism and atheism.  Haeckel, however, considered socialism to have "the most dangerous and objectionable character which, at the present time, any political theory can have," and asserted during the 1877 debate that Darwinism 

is anything rather than socialist! If this English hypothesis is to be compared to any political tendency—as is, no doubt possible—that tendency can only be aristocratic, certainly not democratic, and least of all socialist. The theory of selection teaches that in human life, as in animal and plant life everywhere, and at all times, only a small chosen minority can exist and flourish, while the enormous majority strive and perish miserably and more or less prematurely. . . . The cruel and merciless struggle for existence which rages throughout all living nature, and in the course of nature must rage, this unceasing and inexorable competition of all living creatures, is an incontestable fact; only the picked minority of the qualified "fittest" is in a position to resist it successfully, while the great majority of the competitors must necessarily perish miserably. We may profoundly lament this tragical state of things, but we can neither controvert it nor alter it. "Many are called but few are chosen." The selection, the picking out of these "chosen ones" is inevitably connected with the arrest and destruction of the remaining majority.

I have mentioned here before that Karl Marx, writing to Engels, notwithstanding his disdain for what he called the typical British vulgarity of Darwin's approach,  originally saw natural selection as useful for their dialectical materialism.   That's not unusual in the least, just about all of the early adopters of natural selection I've read mention its usefulness for asserting materialism and atheism, including many Marxists, socialists and others who obviously didn't think too hard about the implications for the rest of their ideological program.   I've also mentioned that, thinking more about it,  Marx modified his attitude, noting that Darwin had, actually, imposed a twisted version of Malthus on the natural world.

I do think that the asserted usefulness of natural selection for materialism, atheism and, explicitly, anti-Christian advocacy that was immediately asserted for it by the most conventional of Darwinists, including Haeckel, Huxley, implied by Galton and many others, is its major attraction today.

It is possible that Sheila Weiss might be wrong about Lange in so far as materialism is concerned, though I am hardly anything like an expert in this, my understanding is that Lange rejected materialism. For example, from the article on Lange in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Lange’s most famous book, The History of Materialism and Critique of its Contemporary Significance, is in essence a defense of such a return to Kant. It is also a detailed history of materialism (and was read well into the twentieth century for precisely this reason). However, more fundamentally, it was meant to drive home the above mentioned concerns about materialism. Lange accepted materialism as a sensible maxim for the construction of theories within natural science. However, as a comprehensive philosophical system, as both fundamental ontology and epistemology, materialism is self-undermining.

Anyway I've been able to figure it, I do also think that any rigorously logical thinking about the consequences of materialism, which is inescapably a monist, totalistic ideology, can't help but totally discredit everything about human thinking, including that which has produced materialism, which, in turn, discredits its basic credibility.   I think any rigorous thinker who, never the less, retains their materialism does so for the emotional hatred of religion that, in my experience, is the actual reason they adopted it in the first place.  That has certainly been my experience in decades of engaging in arguments with materialists.

Lange's rejection of Hegel discussed in the article is certainly of major consequences for his thinking about Marxism.  But that's for another post.

About August Bebel I don't know much of anything,  Kautsky was pretty much an orthodox Marxist, though an anti-Leninist, anti-Soviet figure.  So there's that to say for him.  In its horrific test of time Marxism, in its own rejection of democracy, doesn't produce the workers paradise Marx and his followers fantasized, it produces a massively corrupt oligarchy who, as it suits their purpose, will dispense with pretenses of egalitarian socialism to adopt a particularly vicious form of capitalism that the Victorians could only dream of.  In the case of the aftermath of the denouement of the Soviet state, it has become one of the foremost forces in promoting fascism and neo-Nazism.   However,  I've got no reason to think that Weiss was wrong in their case.

Someday I'll say something about Haeckel's cynical twisting of the words of Jesus to support the very opposite of the Gospel.

"that tendency can only be aristocratic, certainly not democratic"

You will remember the post from yesterday in which the author of the pseudo-scientific, pseudo-historical but massively influential book advocating eugenics, The Kallikak Family, twisted the definition of democracy into a definition of aristocracy in which the most intelligent, as measured on the tests he also brought to America, ruled benevolently over the unintelligent.   Henry Herbert Goddard included in those to be so lorded over, the average man, who his IQ testing led him to believe

can manage his affairs with only a moderate degree of prudence, can earn only a very modest living, and is vastly better off when following directions than when trying to plan for himself.

It's interesting to note that he included that such people could "earn only a very modest living" because I think that's, actually, the strongest motive behind all of it, recalling that the line of thinking Goddard followed has its intellectual origin in Malthus and his supposed mathematical, quasi-scientific support for the most depraved aspects of British class inequality. .

In the excerpt from his book,  The Psychology of the Normal and Subnormal,  which you can read in the second of my post yesterday,  you will see that what Goddard's regime of "intelligence testing" did was talk him into promoting what was being called in Italy and other places, "fascism" and in Germany, starting the very year he published the book, "Nazism",  both of which had a similar origin in a rejection of democracy and both with a founding motivation in the understanding of natural selection.   All of this was a development of the rapid adoption in the intellectual class, which was largely comprised of those in the upper economic classes who had access to education, higher education and the relevant professions.   In the United States, which had pioneered public education and with the Morril acts of 1862 and 1890, public, land-grant universities, perhaps the effects were, to some extent, mitigated by having a higher level of people from modest backgrounds represented in the educated class but that mitigation certainly didn't keep such thinking out of the country.   Natural selection its almost guaranteed by product eugenics, the allegedly scientific process of testing and grading people for intelligence and the assertion that democracy had been scientifically discredited filled the intellectual milieu of the late 19th and early 20th century.  I do think it's notable that the rejection of at least its political manifestation of fascism here, after 1933, had a lot to do with the presence of such unaristocratic people in the educated population of the United States.

I do, very strongly, believe if the Republicans and the aristocrats in the United States hadn't crashed the economy and proved, in the Hoover administration, how cold bloodedly willing they were to put their scientific, economic theories and principles and, not at all coincidentally, the profits of the wealthiest before the very lives of the American people, things might have turned far uglier.  The Republicans in the 1920s were on a path not that dissimilar from the one they're on today.  Who knows if we will be lucky in such a form a second time.

But the indication that that was a result of Darwinian thinking was in place much earlier.  In the immediate invention of eugenics, which was just one more step past the willing belief in natural selection, in its first manifestation of Galton's assertion that "Hereditary Genius" was a thing and, wouldn't you know it, it was especially manifested in his own aristocratic class, which accounted for most of those who had been provided with an education and a place at universities.

The most explicit evidence we have that Charles Darwin's thinking was along the same lines lies in his total and complete endorsement of his disciple and friend Ernst Haeckel's book Freie Wissenschaft und freie Lehre,  Freedom in Science And Teaching.  In his letter to Haeckel praising the book he said,

" ....  you must let me have the pleasure of saying how much I admire the whole of it. It is a most interesting essay, and I agree with all of it".  

Letter of Charles Darwin to Ernst Haeckel April 29, 1879

I will note that in the more than a decade I've been looking into this, I have yet to read anything by Charles Darwin in which he expresses any rejection of anything Ernst Haeckel ever said on these topics, he even endorses many of his most depraved ideas, such as the salubrious effects of murder, especially in the form of infanticide.

But for purposes of considering what led the, by then, very influential Henry Herbert Goddard to twist the meaning of democracy into an aristocratic fascism of the allegedly biologically superior this infamous passage of the book Darwin endorsed says it explicitly.

Besides, Darwinism, the theory of natural selection—which Virchow aimed at in his denunciation, much more especially than at transformation, the theory of descent—which is often confounded with it—Darwinism, I say, is anything rather than socialist! If this English hypothesis is to be compared to any definite political tendency—as is, no doubt, possible—that tendency can only be aristocratic, certainly not democratic, and least of all socialist. The theory of selection teaches that in human life, as in animal and plant life everywhere, and at all times, only a small and chosen minority can exist and flourish, while the enormous majority starve and perish miserably and more or less prematurely. The germs of every species of animal and plant and the young individuals which spring from them are innumerable, while the number of those fortunate individuals which develop to maturity and actually reach their hardly-won life's goal is out of all proportion trifling. The cruel and merciless struggle for existence which rages throughout all living nature, and in the course of nature must rage, this unceasing and inexorable competition of all living creatures, is an incontestable fact; only the picked minority of the qualified "fittest" is in a position to resist it successfully, while the great majority of the competitors must necessarily perish miserably. We may profoundly lament this tragical state of things, but we can neither controvert it nor alter it. "Many are called but few are chosen." The selection, the picking out of these "chosen ones," is inevitably connected with the arrest and destruction of the remaining majority. Another English naturalist, therefore, designates the kernel of Darwinism very frankly as the "survival of the fittest," as the "victory of the best." At any rate, this principle of selection is nothing less than democratic, on the contrary, it is aristocratic in the strictest sense of the word. If, therefore, Darwinism, logically carried out, has, according to Virchow, "an uncommonly suspicious aspect," this can only be found in the idea that it offers a helping hand to the efforts of the aristocrats. But how the socialism of the day can find any encouragement in these efforts, and how the horrors of the Paris Commune can be traced to them, is to me, I must frankly confess, absolutely incomprehensible.

I will note several things, such is that this English edition was published during Darwin's lifetime, with a preface by Darwin's closest English colleague and defender, Thomas Huxley.  I am certain Darwin read it, though I can't locate the citation I believe confirms that.  I doubt he could have been unaware of it.  His letter proves that he read the book, as he had read Haeckel's far harder to read books which Darwin cited to support his thinking.

That passage is as obvious, as explicit an expression of proto-fascist, proto-Nazi, explicitly biological-aristocratic thinking as is imaginable.  The book was published, in German, in 1877, 42 years before the founding of the Nazi party.   To give you an idea of how close in time that is, subtract 42 years from the year you're reading this.  And I will point out that Ernst Haeckel died in 1919, the very same year the Nazi party formed, the very same year that Henry Herbert Goddard, considered the greatest expert in the United States on inherited intelligence, whose regime of "intelligence testing" had already led him to redefine democracy as fascist rule by those his testing determined to be the most intelligent.   And I will remind you that Goddard's central idea as to why democracy must be deformed into facism was that we are in exactly that Darwinian " struggle for existence " that Haeckel describes in that paragraph of his elucidation of the political consequences of adopting a Darwinian view of life.

That any of what I've said above could be considered unspeakable, including the obvious relationship of natural selection to fascism and Nazism and the explicit rejection of democracy on allegedly scientific grounds only proves to show how thoroughly the big lie denying that has been inculcated in the English speaking educated class.  It is a lie based on a dismissal of the actual primary literature dealing with the question.  It can only lead to asking how much else that is "known" about this is also based in, not citation of, but in covering up or distorting or lying about that record.  And, as can be seen in the case of the application of natural selection in politics, in the law, in such things as American and, yes, Nazi eugenic laws, which are as real in their results as anything.  And, today, in the extension into the neo-eugenics which are rampant in current Republican policy.

I think ignoring that, ultimately, and in the beginning, it all began with Charles Darwin reading the work of Malthus - truly the Good News for his family and those of their economic class - is a similar distortion of what continues to be the official lens, the frame through which so much of our thinking is required to be expressed and skepticism of which is not to be permitted.

It's no accident that it always, always, ends up reinforcing those who have the money and the power. That's where it all started.


I said here the other day that the English Wikipedia was unreliable on these topics because it has obviously been "edited" by people with an ideological motive and those who, either through ignorance or a desire to cover up the record, post lies as facts.  I found such an instance just as I was checking the publication date of Haeckel's book, mentioned above.  The current article on Haeckel, in an obvious attempt to shield Darwin from the inevitable association of natural selection with Nazism says:

Haeckel's political beliefs were influenced by his affinity for the German Romantic movement coupled with his acceptance of a form of Lamarckism. Rather than being a strict Darwinian, Haeckel believed that the characteristics of an organism were acquired through interactions with the environment and that ontogeny reflected phylogeny.

If that is the case then Charles Darwin was not "a strict Darwinian" because he not only believed that characteristics of an organism were acquired through interactions with the environment, he explicitly developed his own theory of such inheritance, his version of the panspermia theory.

Pretty much everything that is included within that passage from the English Wikipedia is present in the writings of Haeckel, including, as seen above, the proto-Nazism, was present during Darwin's lifetime, published in books which Darwin not only praised and endorsed in letters but which he cited in some of his most important scientific works.  Certainly in the one most relevant to the political application of natural selection, The Descent of Man in the preface to which Darwin says that if Haeckel's Natürliche Schöpfungsgeschichte had been known to him before he started writing The Descent of Man, he might not have bothered finishing it because Haeckel's book - chuck full of his German romantic thinking, as well as many depraved assertions about the salubrious effects of infanticide suggestions of killing the disabled, the inevitable killing and replacement of "savage" races by those whose homicidal success renders them "civilised" etc much of which Darwin repeats in his book - because Natürliche Schöpfungsgeschichte is so in line with his thinking.

Charles Darwin never, in anything I've read, distanced himself from Ernst Haeckel or his thinking. Nor of other writers such as Heinrich Fick OR HIS OWN SON GEORGE who, during his lifetime, with his support, called for changing the laws to make them conform to their assertions of natural selection.

Friday, May 26, 2017

You First Amendment Absolutist Types

Explain to me why the slandered, libeled and sadistically tortured family of Seth Rich shouldn't be able to sue that lying, amoral, mouldy dog turd of a man, Roger Stone, into destitution?  

Hardly Seems Worth Pointing It Out - Hate Mail

Simels can't read what someone says, if he's able to keep his fading attention on the letters he turns it into what he wants it to say (see the Bertrand Russell quote on the left sidebar).   

I never said he looked like Groucho Marx, I said he looked ridiculous putting on a cheesy looking beret in an inadvisable attempt to look like the aged (some assert senile) Groucho as a very old man. I assert that the effect made Simels look as senile as his comments indicate.   The first time I saw one of the photos he posted I thought he'd gone totally round the bend and had put on a cheesy black toupee in an attempt to look chic.  He only succeeded in looking weak.  In the head. 

I'd wondered if the two much younger women on either side of him were social workers on an "adult in danger" call. 

Update:  Dr. Mary Schindler testified in court that she tested Groucho in 1975 when he said he wanted to adopt his much younger girlfriend but she said he was already advanced in senility by that time.  I wasn't there, she apparently was.  That's as much as I know about it. 

Update 2:  He said that?  Well, I've noted several times that he doesn't know how time works.  You know, past, present, future. I think he was watching TV instead of going to school the day they explained that.   Probably Queen For A Day. 

Neo-Neo-Nazism Is Flourishing Online

Looking for more examples of Nazi propaganda films, it is terrifying how many of them are posted on Youtube, obviously by neo-Nazis with many favorable comments.   This stuff is the stuff that is under the active promotion of the Putin regime and billionaires and other Nazis right now.  

I'd known it was there, but in the past two days the amount of it and the presentation of it online looks like something that is far worse than I'd thought last Tuesday.  The comments are as disturbing as the fact that it's getting posted.   It's clearly reaching a susceptible audience that isn't of negligible size. The free-speech industry needs to address this.  Now. 

Forgotten Footnote

Oh, and since the overall topic is the reality of natural selection in the real world of politics and social policy I should have made a comment on this part of Goddard's argument

To maintain that mediocre or average intelligence should decide what is best for a group of people in their struggle for existence is manifestly absurd.   We need the advice of the highest intelligence of the group, not the average any more than the lowest. 

"In their struggle for existence" is a red-letter marker, a dead giveaway of the shadow of natural selection in which Goddard is making his argument.   It provides the framing of exigency in which so much of the scientific advocacy of that kind, so much of its extension into politics and social policy in 1919 and after was and is being made.

This Is The Man Who Oliver Wendell Holmes jr. Believed To Be Producing Reliable Science On Which To Base Reliable Justice

It's raining here so I have had a free morning to go looking up stuff, so I looked up the source of that quotation that I used in my earlier post. The rain has also washed the pollen out of the air so, no allergy meds, yippee!

The quote comes from the 1919 book by Henry Herbert Goddard, Psychology of the Normal and Subnormal,  a book by a best-selling scientist-author (The Kallikak Family was a wildly influential best seller).  I will note, not coincidentally, that 1919 is the same year that the Nazi party was founded.  It is also the period in which fascism was rising in Italy and military-imperial rule in Japan and Leninism was driving out the democrats in what would become the Soviet Union.

I will give you a large chunk of the book, verbatim, with minimal commentary where I can't restrain myself from making observations.  It is truly a window into the direction that the kind of scientific thinking which asserts it can measure people and grade them like eggs, in terms of quality and utility I talked about in the earlier piece will tend toward.  I will ask you to consider the echos of such thinking that can be heard everywhere, today, on the left and on the right.  I will also ask you to consider that Goddard had gained his fame through his directorship of an institution allegedly caring for the "feeble-minded" and that the bulk of his book consists of an argument that a far higher number of people are "morons" "imbeciles" etc. and, so the "average man" is far stupider than those he took to be uninformed might believe.

If it is ultimately found that the intelligence of the average man is thirteen – instead of sixteen – it will only confirm what some are beginning to suspect;  viz., that the average man can manage his affairs with only a moderate degree of prudence, can earn only a very modest living, and is vastly better off when following directions than when trying to plan for himself.  In other words it will show that there is a fundamental reason for so many of the conditions that we find in human society and further that much of our effort to change conditions is unintelligent because we have not understood the nature of the average man.

These and many other assertions are identical to the arguments that fascists made against democracy.  But being an American, writing in English, Goddard couldn't dispose of democracy without risking alienating large numbers of people.  He solved that problem by defining democracy in an age of scientific enlightenment as being fascism.  While calling it "democracy".

It is not necessary here to point out the far-reaching effect of such a discovery – should it prove true.  We may, however, allow ourselves one observation.  Some may think that this doctrine of mental levels, especially if it leads to such facts as above indicated, is an argument against democracy.  It certainly is an argument against certain theories of democracy.  Democracy means the people rule (Demos, people; Kratos, ruler). [Goddard always seems to think if he can attach a Greek word to something that means he wins the argument. ]  To maintain that mediocre or average intelligence should decide what is best for a group of people in their struggle for existence is manifestly absurd.   We need the advice of the highest intelligence of the group, not the average any more than the lowest. 

Democracy is historically a rebellion against a so called aristocracy (Aristos, best) a rule by divine right, the divine right  of kings.   The trouble with the old aristocracy is in the answer to the question,  “Who decides who is the best?”  In the aristocracies of the past a small group of people have said,  “We are the best, we have the right to rule.”   Democracy says:  “The entire group must decide who is best, wisest, who can give us the best advice.”  But will average intelligence select highest intelligence and submit to its rule?   It depends on the character of the highest intelligence, and its attitude toward mediocre and low intelligence.  The moron in the community will not select and obey the man who tests hightest but who pursues his intelligence for his own aggrandizement and mistreats those of lower intelligence.  But the morons and imbeciles in an institution would select and do obey the superintendent and his helpers because they are working unselfishly [yeah, right] to make the morons and imbeciles happy. 

Democracy, the, means that the people rule by selecting the wisest, most intelligent and most human to tell them what to do to be happy. [Again, this is an argument for fascism, made by fascists at exactly the same time Goddard wrote this.] Thus Democracy is a method for arriving at a truly benevolent aristocracy.  Such a consummation will be reached when the most intelligent learn to apply their intelligence.  In other words instead of securing power by such political methods as are now too often resorted to,  or by the use of money and “influence” high intelligence must so work for the welfare of the masses as to command their respect and affection.

I am going to break in here, again, because it's clear that Goddard's view of reality, as a director of just such an institution, was entirely self-serving and self aggrandizing.  That is not a rare thing among those in psychology and other "inexact" sciences.   If you want to know just what a complete fool Goddard was, he's about to prove it in the very next sentence.

This is not difficult, once the problem is understood and the right attitude taken.  The reason the moron is a menace in society is that he is misunderstood and consequently mistreated.  The reason he is happy, contented, obedient, and useful member of an institution for the feeble-minded, is that he is understood and treated with consideration.  His mental level is recognized and every effort made to secure his happiness.  The truest democracy is found in an institution for the feeble-minded and it is an aristocracy – a rule by the best.

Fascism, in both its right wing form and in its red-fascist, Marxist form, is pretty much just what Goddard was advocating as science, turning societies into institutions ruled over by rulers convinced they are the best, the most intelligent, the wisest, etc.  How that differs from the "old aristocracy" not at all is to be found all through the assertions of the beneficiaries of the British class system in literature and, especially flowing from assertions of Malthusian economics, most of all natural selection, science.  

Remember, Goddard was a man whose scientific assertions wielded great influence in, especially, Republican politics in the United States in the 1920s.  His science was used to pass legislation into law and to make law in the Supreme Court.  That the party that did that would produce the Great Depression and be heaved out of power in 1933 might be a fortuitous coincidence or it might be the results of the reality that Goddard's romantic view of rule by "the most intelligent" was a fantasy, that those who favor aristocracy will always try to steal everything for themselves and their families. If he didn't know that he was an idiot, if he did know that he was a filthy liar.  Or more of one than his best seller proves himself to have been.   

We've got our own versions of him on best-sellers lists right now, he's not just a figure of a done and finished past so don't start feeling smug on that account.   Charles Murray is far from dead, neither are those who support his neo-eugenics.

Update:  Rereading this, it occurs to me that Goddard was making the exact same arguments that Plato and the anti-democratic party in Athens were making against popular rule way back then.   It has always been an argument against democracy from its earliest development.   The alternative was also known as Plato presented the anti-intellectual, military despotism of Sparta as superior.  And that boob didn't even take into account that he'd have been either excluded or killed as philosophy was banned in Sparta.  Not coincidentally, in their assertion of natural selection a line of writers, beginning with Charles Darwin, Ernst Haeckel and others, including American eugenicists, cited Spartan infanticide as part of their implications of ideas to improve the human stock.

Update 2: Hate Mail -  You know, if I provided links to everything I said most of the text would display as red.  Here's the link to a piece I wrote about Darwin and Haeckel asserting the eugenic effects of infanticide in Sparta.   I don't make a habit out of saying things I can't back up. 

The Scientist As A Liar And A Knowing Accomplice To Murder

"Democracy, then, means that the people rule by selecting the wisest, most intelligent and most human to tell them what to do to be happy."  Henry Herbert Goddard

I went around looking to see what had been written about "The Kallikak" family the alleged focus of that book by the American psychologist and eugenicist Henry Herbert Goddard and found an article that points out the extremely influential book, used in the United States to legalize eugenics and other discriminatory laws and, as seen in that repulsive propaganda film, to promote the ideas of both eliminating "useless eaters" disabled people and other aspects of Nazi ideology.   I found this article Who Was Deborah Kallikak? Goddard's starting point for creating a depraved geneology for her, full of dysgenic ancestors, the progeny of a Revolutionary lieutenant screwing around with a degenerate bar maid before he married a virtuous Quaker woman and had good children with her.  Not coincidentally,  Henry Herbert Goddard was raised a Quaker of the evangelical late 19th century type in Maine, though I'm not sure if he remained one in the years he was a psychologist and one of the main figures in promoting eugenics and some of the worst of America's use of such science to legally enforce discrimination and racism.   I doubt he'd fit into any meeting of Quakers I'm aware of, these days.

Anyway, the guy was a combination of an incompetent researcher of the kind who can flourish in the behavioral and social sciences and an outright liar.  Both in his description of the woman who he made into "Deborah Kallikak" Emma Wolverton who was far more a victim of unjustified institutionalization from her early life through its end than the figure Goddard presented.  As he had the major hand in her unjustified institutionalization, for his purposes she was more a convenient piece of raw material than a person.  I'll let you read the less opportunistic description of her in the article, it is a rather heartbreaking and infuriating story.  But Goddard's use of her, the same program of utility that he provided for both the American eugenics industry and to the Nazis, lay in her alleged ancestry which was mostly a lie.  Here's what the article says about that. 

In 1985, the lead author of this article published a book titled Minds Made Feeble: The Myth and the Legacy of the Kallikaks. Goddard’s thesis of the hereditary nature of feeblemindedness rested, in large measure, on the presumption that Emma’s Wolverton’s1 ancestors, or a large proportion of them, were feebleminded, although the only family member ever tested using an IQ test was Emma herself. The bulk of The Kallikak Family narrative itself involves descriptions of these ancestors: from Emma’s purported great-great-grandfather, Martin Kallikak Jr., the offspring of the ill-advised dalliance with the feeble-minded bar maid, on down to Emma herself. Of course, these family members were christened with stigmatizing names by Goddard and Kite; Martin Jr. was referred to, for example, as the “Old Horror.” The pictures in the text show Kallikak family members posed in front of what can best be described as hovels, thereby juxtaposing purportedly degenerate people with their degenerate homes

Minds Made Feeble debunked the assertion in Goddard’s narrative that these Wolverton ancestors were degenerate, more or less feebleminded. The present context does not allow for a detailed accounting, but a few examples will suffice to make this point.

It is, of course, Martin Kallikak, Jr., the great-great-grandfather of ‘Deborah,’ who is the fulcrum in The Kallikak Family narrative. Goddard’s description of Martin, Jr. is laden with those traits he felt characterized people he described as “morons”. In the text, Goddard narrates a conversation with an elderly woman who is, supposedly, part of the “good side of the Kallikak family” (p. 80), who was reported to remember Martin Jr. as:

… always unwashed and drunk. At election time, he never failed to appear in somebody’s cast-off clothing, ready to vote, for the price of a drink” (p. 80)

According to census data for Hunterdon County, Martin, Jr., whose real name was John Wolverton2, was born in 1776 and was married in 1804, a union that lasted 22 years, until his wife’s death. Unlike Goddard’s description of Martin, Jr., John Wolverton appears to have been fairly successful. He owned land throughout most of his adult life. County records indicated that he purchased two lots of land in 1809 for cash. Deed books for the county contain records of his transferring his property to his children and grandchildren later in his life. The 1850 census record shows that he was living with one of his daughters and several of his grandchildren at that time. That record also lists all of the adults in the household as being able to read. The 1860 census record lists his occupation as “laborer” and his property as valued at $100 (not a meager amount for the average person at that time). John Wolverton died in 1861 (Smith, 1985, p. 93).

Or, consider Martin Jr.’s fourth child, “Old Sal” whom Goddard described as feeble-minded and as marrying a feeble-minded man and as having two feeble-minded children, who, likewise married feeble-minded wives and had large families of defective children, some of whom are pictured in The Kallikak Family.

“Old Sal” was, in fact, Catherine Ann Wolverton, born in December, 1811. She was married in January, 1834 and died in 1897 at the age of 85 (Macdonald & McAdams, 2001, p. 218). Goddard’s nickname of ‘Old Sal’ probably came from Goddard and Kite mistaking Catherine for her sister-in-law, Sarah (Macdonald & McAdams, 2001, p. 811). There is not much known about Catherine herself from the records, but a family history relayed by some of Catherine’s descendants reveals many contradictions to Goddard’s portrayal of her offspring. Two of her grandchildren were still living in 1985 when Minds Made Feeble was published. A brother and sister, they were retired school teachers living in Trenton, New Jersey. One grandson moved from New Jersey to Iowa, became treasurer of a bank, owned a lumber yard, and operated a creamery. Another grandson moved to Wisconsin. His son served as a pilot in the Army Air Corps in World War II. A great, great grandson of Catherine was a teacher in Chicago. A great grandson was a policeman in another city in Illinois. A 1930 newspaper article reported that all of Catherine’s sons had been soldiers in the Civil War.

Others of the so-called bad Kallikak family members were land owners, farmers, and, while poor, were generally self-sufficient rural people. Though many of them had lived with limited resources and against considerable environmental odds, the records suggest that they were a cohesive family. With Emma’s grandfather’s generation, though, the tides turned for the family. Called Justin in Goddard’s narrative, Emma’s grandfather (also named John Wolverton) was born in 1834 and, like his ancestors, lived in Rural Hunterdon, New Jersey working primarily in agriculture. Like many of his generation, though, John and his family were swept up in the turmoil of the industrial age and by 1880, the family had moved to Trenton New Jersey and John worked as a laborer. Times were difficult, the cohesiveness of the family eroded, and Emma’s mother’s family scraped to get by in those tough economic times.

Malinda Woolverton was the actual name of Emma’s mother. She was born in April of 1868, when the family lived in Hunterdon, but by 1885, at the age of 17, she had already moved out of the family home, living with and serving as a domestic and child care helper in the home of a neighbor. Emma was born to Malinda in February of 1889. Though Goddard indicates that Emma’s mother had three illegitimate children who didn’t live past infancy before Emma was born in the almshouse, Mcdonald and McAdams’ (2001) genealogy of the Wolverton family noted that records suggest that Emma was Malinda’s only illegitimate child.

The real story of the disfavored Kallikaks, the ‘other Wolvertons,’ is not free of troubles and human frailties. The family had its share of skeletons in the closet, but so did many families of that era, particularly those who were faced with poverty, lack of education and scarce resources for dealing with tumultuous social change. But the family also had its strengths and successes. The tragedy of the disfavored Kallikaks is that their story was distorted so as to be interpreted according to a powerful myth, and then used to further bolster that myth. The myth was that of eugenics.

The pseudo-science of psychology and the other social sciences have a long history of making up stories like the one Goddard lied up.   And, as you could see from the Nazi propaganda movie, Das Erbe, the results can be devastating to hundreds of thousands and millions of people.    His book, The Kallikak Family" was entered (misspelled) into the Supreme Court argument that led to Oliver Wendell Holmes jr.'s infamous Buck vs. Bell decision legalizing forced sterilization, which was used in a number of places, including quaint 1920s and 30s Vermont, to try to exterminate racial groups through forced and coerced sterilization.  As has been noted here before, some contemporary scholars looking into that have found the records of it were best preserved in Germany because the Nazis diligently studied American eugenics programs to build on them.  

Goddard and his use of IQ testing is also infamous as he had a knack for finding, or inventing idiocy or, in the term he introduced into science, "morons" and, wouldn't you know it, their massive concentration in ethnic and racial groups.  His science was also supportive of the racist restrictions on immigration put into effect in the 1920s and which were used to exclude, among others, Jews trying to flee from the Nazis.  The same kinds of arguments are what fueled the cable-TV campaign to whip up racist activity against Latinos and others which has taken over the American government again.  I believe some touted the victory of the Republicans as their peak since the last time they had such control - wouldn't you know it - in the 1920s.  

This kind of science, which is taken and asserted to have the reliability of science but which is based, in reality, on lies and professional interest and opportunistic bigotry, is not something that was left behind in a past that is past and done.   Its still here, now, being published and being promoted to have exactly the same effects and for exactly the same reasons it was being done in in the early decades of the bloody 20th century.   And, as science has not done much of anything to prevent this kind of science, I'm not putting the word in scare quotes anymore.  Science that is done by those who get to be called scientists and which is published as science and is accepted by the colleagues of the scientists that make it up is their responsibility.  The media can be held responsible for its promotion of it, even as they heap ridicule on and rejection of real science such as done around climate change, which is unprofitable for the billionaires and millionaires that promote this kind of junk.  That's the real reality of science as it enters into politics.  

With natural selection and other theories in science, such as those which congealed into psychology - itself an offshoot of natural selection-  the idea of asserting science could reliably and accurately measure people on a scale of economic and social value and that such measurement should be used to manage the human population arose and gained currency.  Starting with Darwin, continuing through eugenicists, that was explicitly put in terms of managing people in terms of an animal breeding operation on a farm.  As country boys, both Charles Darwin and Henry Herbert Goddard knew such operations at first hand.   I'm a country boy, too, and one of the things I know about such an operation is that in addition to breeding the stock the farmer consider best, they select out those not chosen as breeding stock to be slaughtered for profit.  That anyone with that knowledge would make such a recommendation about the human population cannot be allowed to escape blame when the known outcome of that happens when their scheme is applied, that people, in large numbers are murdered or allowed to die of neglect, starvation, etc.   That those last methods are considered more "moderate" doesn't make them any less deadly.   They knew exactly what they were advocating.  They just used refined English to say it, instead of explicit German. 

That quote at the top, anyone who think's that's democracy is a stinking fascist.